#2 (44-17-5, 93 pts) at #6 Philadelphia Flyers (35-27-4, 74 pts)
Wachovia Center - 1:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, WGN HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
This is the open game thread.
Get the Chicago perspective at Second City Hockey
Peter Laviolette was visibly upset with the way the Flyers played against Boston on Thursday night, so heading into today's game against one of the most dynamic teams in the league, he's decided to change things up a bit.
Three new lines. Some players benched. Some inserted into the lineup. But, go figure, same goaltender.
There are two schools of thought here: you can start Leighton because you want to play the guy who isn't rusty against the high-flying Hawks. That's fair, if Boucher didn't play on Thursday night. He played almost a full period, enough to shake off the rust. He deserves a shot, and he'll likely get it on Sunday against the Rangers. He should've had that shot today.
But anyway, since it's not happening let's talk about the other lineup changes. Arron Asham sits, Ville Leino is in. The second and third lines are completely blown up, while the top line of Dan Carcillo, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne will be the same. That makes sense, really, since they were the only trio to have a decent game on Thursday.
Simon Gagne moved to Mike Richards' line with Dan Carcillo.
Laviolette spoke a lot on Friday about getting back to the basics, and playing with unfamiliar partners is a good way of doing so. The biggest concern is that experimenting in that department against one of the elite teams in the NHL is a dangerous risk.
Chicago is good defensively and obviously potent offensively. The Flyers offense will have to, you know, do everything the opposite of Thursday. They'll have to attack the puck in the corner, show some desire to actually win a puck battle, and just cross the blue line with some energy. The most important thing, however, is that they have to do everything in their power not to be the Blackhawks. They're not a high-flying, pass-the-puck-around-as-much-as-they-can-for-a-pretty-goal team, so they shouldn't try to act like one. Again, it's just keeping things basic.
Defensively, all six guys need to be better tonight, because none of them were particularly good on Thursday. There's a ton of room for improvement and against these Blackhawks, it better come within the first five seconds of the game today.
This won't be an easy game, and if the Flyers don't show up from the get go, it's going to be an ugly one. In that case, remember that the Phils are on channel 17.
After the jump, line combos, starting goaltenders, and a few questions to answer.
lines, goalies, questions coming shortly... wanted to get this up asap because my internet is touchy today.
Questions to Answer:
1. Does Michael Leighton bounce back after a rough Thursday?
2. Does everybody else bounce back after a rough Thursday?
3. Will Scott Hartnell continue to be snakebitten and useless?
4. Has the Olympic bubble burst yet, or will Patrick Kane get any positive reception from the American Flyers fans?
5. Over or under eight total goals? These aren't teams that are very fond of defense...